Dentsu Acquires Indie Trading Desk Accordant

dentsu-accordantDentsu has snapped up Accordant, a well-regarded independent programmatic technology and services firm. The acquisition comes on the heels of Dentsu’s roughly $1.5 billion deal to acquire database marketer Merkle.

Accordant is among the most recognized independent programmatic services providers in the United States – a group that also includes the Goodway Group and Kepler Group. The company offers deep expertise on programmatic, as well as a strong focus on services to its agency and brand customers. It also brings some proprietary technology, called Accordant ATS, which it says consists of an integrated DSP, DMP, integrated analytics and reporting tools.

“We see programmatic absolutely as the way of working in the future and we’ll continue to invest in people who have the skill sand technology to support that,” said Jerry Buhlmann, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network.

Accordant customers have included AutoNation,, Kayak and Zipcar.

Jordan Edmiston Group (JEGI) advised Accordant on the transaction. Deal terms weren’t disclosed.

The acquisition calls to mind other recent M&A activity around programmatic services, such as the 2015 acquisitions of Essence and The Exchange Lab by GroupM. Additionally, it comes as demand-side platform The Trade Desk, a tech company that prioritizes services, prepares for its IPO.

In the wake of the transaction, Art Muldoon and Matt Greitzer, the CEO and COO of Accordant, respectively, will oversee the combined programmatic marketing business for Dentsu in the US, under the Aegis banner. That group will be housed under the Amnet trading desk operation at Dentsu Aegis, which also includes Carat, iProspect, 360i and Dentsu Media.

“Part of the benefit of Accordant and Amnet combining is the team,” Greitzer said. “They have a great team and we do too. But we also have the technology platform, which we’ve always used for our client base and which will now give the Amnet client base more of a hands-on ownership of and access to data and the technology that makes that data powerful.”

With the deal, Dentsu extends a streak of data-driven advertising moves in the US. Its acquisitions of Merkle and Accordant follow its first major entry into the US and European markets three years ago, with the acquisition of Aegis.

Merkle employs 650 clients globally, including 100 in its digital media roles. Accordant employs approximately 70, according to LinkedIn.

“To Dentsu’s credit, they are serious about winning this race and you don’t win on rented skis. They just bought a pretty great pair of skis,” JEGI co-President Tolman Geffs said.

Alison Weissbrot contributed. 

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